Time to correct some historical injustices. Hindsight is always 20-20, but at the Oscars 10 years ago, it was clear even before the stars left for the Governors’ Ball that some deserving nominees had been robbed. Now, Time magazine movie critic Richard Corliss has revisited the 1998 ceremony and redistributed the awards in a way that should please posterity. Sure, James Cameron’s box office savvy made him King of the World, but was Titanic really a better picture than L.A. Confidential (starring Russell Crowe, pictured)? He says no, and he’s right; by every measure except ticket sales and special effects, L.A. Confidential is the superior movie. On the other hand, I’m willing to concede (as is Corliss) that LAC’s Kim Basinger didn’t deserve her Supporting Actress statuette, not when the Academy could have given the prize to Boogie Nights‘ Julianne Moore. I remember that everyone at the time thought Boogie‘s Burt Reynolds was robbed of a Supporting Actor Oscar; Corliss thinks so as well. I’m not sure I agree with him that Helena Bonham Carter (in 1998’s weakest field) should have won Best Actress for Wings of the Dove; she fearlessly played an unlikable character, but maybe Kate Winslet should have won for convincingly selling Cameron’s clunky dialogue. I will spot him Peter Fonda, who gave the performance of his career in Ulee’s Gold and should have beaten As Good as It Gets‘ Jack Nicholson-doing-Jack Nicholson for Best Actor.
Do you agree with Corliss’ choices? Which year’s Oscar race would you like to redress? (I’d like to redo the Pulp Fiction–Forrest Gump showdown of 1995 and the Crash–Brokeback Mountain contest of two years ago.) And which of this year’s nominees do you think won’t stand up to posterity?
addCredit(“Russell Crowe in LA Confidential: Everett Collection”)